Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “contrary”

See all translations

contrary

noun [S] uk   /ˈkɒn.trə.ri/ us    /ˈkɑːn.tre-/
the contrary the opposite: I was worried that it might be too difficult for me but I found the contrary.on the contrary B2 used to show that you think or feel the opposite of what has just been stated: "Didn't you find the film exciting?" "On the contrary, I nearly fell asleep half way through it!"to the contrary C1 saying or showing the opposite: For a long time it was thought to be a harmless substance, but we now have proof/evidence to the contrary.

contrary

adjective uk   us  

contrary adjective (OPPOSITE)

C1   /ˈkɒn.trə.ri/    /ˈkɑːn.tre-/ opposite: a contrary point of view Contrary to all our expectations, he's found a well-paid job and a nice girlfriend.contrary to popular opinion     /ˈkɒn.trə.ri/  /ˈkɑːn.tre-/ in a different way from what most people believe: Contrary to popular opinion, I don't dye my hair!

contrary adjective (NOT REASONABLE)

  /kənˈtreə.ri/    /-ˈtrer.i/ A contrary person wants to disagree with and annoy other people: He doesn't really mean it - he's just being contrary.
Translations of “contrary”
in Spanish contrario a…
in French contraire (à), contrairement (à)…
in German entgegengesetzt…
(Definition of contrary from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of contrary?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “contrary” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

bad/hard/tough luck

said to express sympathy with someone when something bad has happened to them

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More